I had a friend ask me about the idea of not being able to lose your salvation. I thought I’d take some time to dig deeply into the subject. First off, the concept of Once-Saved Always-Saved comes from a man in the 1500’s named John Calvin (Jean Calvin). He was a French guy, who like Martin Luther, was sick of the level of corruption within the Catholic Church in the middle ages. He developed a theological system called today “Calvinism” or “Reformed Theology”. In Calvinism, there are 5 central concepts that the whole Bible can be boiled down to and they for the acronym, T.U.L.I.P. This stands for: Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin), Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement), Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)
So anyways, on to “Once Saved Always Saved.” This concept would mean, along with election, (which means that God, before the world began chose from all time and all humans ever to be born who would go to heaven and hell. That means that If i am a living the most anti-God life I could, am not a Christian and don’t want to be, if I am “elected” by God, I get to go to heaven…no questions asked. Likewise, if I live a life for Christ and follow what God commands to a tee, but I’m not “elected” I go to hell—do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. Calvinism teaches that I cannot ever, once I am “saved”, lose my salvation—NO MATTER WHAT.
I don’t believe that is true. The Bible makes it clear that it CAN, and DOES happen. Look at Hebrews 6:4-6: “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” That means that you can “fall away” or turn away from God and lose your salvation. Now, you CAN come back, but it is almost impossible. Or look here: “11 Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;” (2 Timothy 2:11-12) Look allso here: “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. 9But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. 10And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”
“Blaspheming the Holy Spirit” in the original Greek means to speak evil of or to deny Jesus Himself – a.k.a. to not become a Christian. That is the ONLY unforgivable sin.. Also, take a look at Exodus 32:33:”The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.”So you can see that if a person turns from Jesus, denies Him, or even just continually sin they are in trouble. Since Romans 3:23 says every single person sins, we are all in trouble! So the once-saved-always-saved “doctrine” holds no water against Scripture.
Plus, we read “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:8-9
and also here: “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live” (Ezekiel 18:23). God doesn’t want ANYBODY to go to Hell. That’s why He took the great lengths of becoming a man (Jesus) and shedding His blood for our sins! There isn’t a more beautiful love story written! So that also means the Election holds NO water against the Scriptures.
But in contrast to that, you CAN know you are saved. Look at 1 John 5:12-14:”12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears.” Once saved always saved is unscriptural because it just isn’t supported in the Bible! People can add a few Scriptures here and there by pulling them out of context, but in the whole picture, from Genesis to Revelation, we read about a loving, merciful, generous, and patient God who gives us the RIGHT to choose a relationship with Him – it’s not forced on us! I know that was a bit lengthy, but I hope this gives you something to think about this week. – Scott